Leaders and Decision Quality

Perhaps the most important aspect of leadership influence is Decision-Making.  How to make quality decisions is something that can be learned.  Learn the Seven Stages and Eight Questions of leader’s decision-making here:Decision Quality

TRUST. What is it? How can we achieve trustworthiness?

Sharing Trust, The Leadership Challenge.

Issue: How to build trustworthiness in your team

Trust is essentially important for successful cooperation and effectiveness in organisations. Many organisations list trust as something they value highly, some even listing trust as a core value.  Trust lies at the centre of all sustainable personal and professional relationships, yet it is not a value of its own right.  Like values, trust is abstract, but unlike values, which are largely fixed, trust is a fragile outcome of consistent trustworthy behaviour, where standards, when set, must be honoured.  Trust is not something that we can be given, or that we can be told to have, rather it is earned and is a prerequisite for the highest levels of performance.  Trust is painstakingly developed, but all too quickly lost.

For the full article:  Sharing Trust. The Leadership Challenge

TimCainLeadership’s mission is to help you with this. CONTACT Us Now!





A fresh approach to leadership development

A fresh approach to leadership development

Have you heard of authentic, values based leadership? You probably already have a ‘coaching culture’, balanced scorecards and effective working practices, but do you have authentic values based leadership?  Is leadership responsibility in your team delegated to empowered leaders, at all levels, motivating their teams to greater levels of discretionary effort?

“It is clear that the UK is falling behind many of our key competitor nations in terms of leadership and management capability, which is undermining our productivity compared to those competitors. This is having a direct and detrimental impact on UK business profits, sales, growth and survival…. Quite simply, improving leadership and management capability is an issue that no organisation wishing to achieve long-term success can afford to ignore.” (Department for Business Innovation and Skills Report, (2012), Leadership and Management in the UK – The Key to Sustainable Growth).

In the February (page 18) and April (page 10) editions of the NECC ‘Contact’ magazine, I explored some of the leadership factors that influence success.  Over recent months I have continued to run a number of very popular ‘Leadership Conversation’ open programmes for leaders from different walks of life, coming together to learn more about leading people to success. These conversations are ongoing, with the next in York on the 18th of July, which is already full.

In the summer and autumn, I am offering a limited number of bespoke ‘Leadership Conversation’ closed programmes for business.  Conversations last for 2-3 hours, aimed at senior and middle management teams, providing the all too rare opportunity to focus on developing the authentic values based leadership culture of your business.

Recent research has demonstrated that even a few hours of leadership development can have a long-term sustainable impact on performance.  Contact me to discuss your specific requirements, costs and to book your bespoke programme. Or follow me on Twitter @ctimboc1 for more on values based leadership

Values Based Leadership

 “Values based leadership will enhance individual, team and organisational performance”.

True North

‘Great!  Let’s get some values and strap them to our vision/mission statement and ‘Bingo’ we’re demonstrating that we are at the cutting edge of organisational maturity by empowering our people’.  Simple isn’t it?

Actually, it’s not difficult, and values can be a real game changer, but only if you understand their abstract nature, how they are tied to emotion, and, why they significantly influence our motivation to succeed.  This blog explores connections between values and leadership; or the ability to go beyond issuing a list of laminated ‘values’, to a culture where people are motivated to “Do the right thing on a difficult day and when nobody’s watching”.  This culture is rarely achieved by ‘The Leadership’ alone, it requires ‘The Leadership’ to allow ‘leaders’ to influence through values based ‘leading’.

Engaging people in ethical, values driven, ‘leading’ is not only desirable, it’s essential.  In the Information age, we all seek meaning in our lives, and have greater responsibility to achieve a satisfying and effective work/life balance.  Our networked systems have increased our choices; have raised our self-awareness, and the realisation of our need to achieve ethical sustainability, both in our relationships with people and our husbandry of resources.  ‘Response-ability’ and authority to act is no longer the remit of ‘The Leadership’, but of ‘leaders’ at all levels, whose agile response-ability embraces change, explores new possibilities and maintains a competitive and sustainable edge.  ‘Leading’ influence can be accessible to anyone who sees the opportunity to take the initiative and act, guided by shared ethical values, if organisational culture allows them to lead.

So how does values based leadership enhance performance?

Quality decisions are influenced by values, often unconsciously, (gut-feeling – conceptual models). Our values go deep, they reflect integrated dynamic systems, reflecting our beliefs and those of our cultural norms; they are however, abstract guiding ideals rather than tangible behaviours.  Universal human values include for example: security, stimulation, belonging and achievement.  On a day-to-day, or ‘Operational’ basis they might include efficiency, compassion, empathy or concern.  Values are not task orientated statements e.g., “We will put the customer’s needs at the centre of everything”, nor are they strap line representations of the organisations vision e.g., “To produce world class widgets”.  As abstract emotional ideals, values influence people to lead appropriately and flexibly, based on their moral identity, ‘leading’ instinctively, without needing management authorisation.

Values inform our attitudes and ultimately, therefore how we behave in relation to our perceived authenticity and self-image or that of our cultural (organisational) norms.  How we choose to act both at home and in our working lives will reflect our authentic value-system.  However where values are imposed or inauthentic, there is a lack of value congruence and as a result, a lack of effort in action.  In short, where people have internalised and taken ownership of the shared values, they will be motivated to succeed beyond the expected norms and it will feel ‘Right’. A common issue here is whether people’s personal values should be similar to their working values.  The simple answer is yes, because wherever there is dissonance between value sets there will be a lack of personal harmony leading to a lack of commitment and it will feel ‘Wrong’.  It’s helpful, therefore, if organisations can clearly articulate their values when recruiting new people.  Organisations cannot however, expect new people to arrive with personal values exactly matching their cultural norm, which is why the process of values transformation and values internalisation is an empirically proven outcome of values based leadership.

How are values internalised and owned?  Traditionally, people are presented with organisational values following an ‘Away Day’ by the ‘The Leadership’ rather than the more desirable product of a dialogue across the organisation.  A shared dialogue with ‘The Leadership’ providing the moral and ethical identity, engages ‘leaders’ at all levels and promotes trust and a psychological contract is formed. This creation of trust in the authenticity of ‘The Leadership’ is the foundation of high performance interdependent teams.  That said, the role of senior people in shaping organisational value systems should not be underestimated; values (and our resulting conceptual models) are the result of experiential learning, from failure and success, reflecting cultural ‘True North’ or organisational ‘Good’.  Once there is an agreed value set, it is critically important that the ‘The Leadership’ ‘communicates’ the values by living them in everyday decision making, role modelling ‘Good’ as an example for everyone to aspire to.

In addition to values based decisions, everyone can performance profile their ‘leading’ against the shared value system of their organisation and indeed their own personal value set.  Values can be mapped across to day-to-day ‘leading’ (performance goals) to confirm congruence with organisational ‘Good’, these competencies presenting an opportunity to assess individual, team and organisational performance.

The Leadership’ adopts a coach/mentor approach to managing individuals and teams.  The organisation’s values act as inspirational stretch goals, ideals that because of their abstract nature will never be fully achieved, whilst ‘leading’ behaviour can be agreed and measured as SMART performance goals, or competencies, not least in Personal Development Reviews.  The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) National Decision Making Model is a great example of applied values based process in action.

To embed values based leadership we have to be mindful of the connections between knowledge, emotion and our actions.  ‘The Leadership’ can take responsibility for championing ethical values based ‘leading’. ‘Leading’ by personal example, transforming traditional extrinsic direction into shared intrinsic drive or:

“Just the way the Right things are done around here”.




Welcome to Tim Cain Leadership

Welcome to Tim Cain Leadership.  Professional leadership development specialising in Authentic Values Based Leadership

TED Leadership Insight: ‘Collective Genius’ Linda Hill gives an inspirational TED talk about using ‘The Secret Leadership Sauce’ to create the space for ‘Collective Problem Solving‘, ‘Discovery Learning‘ and ‘Integrated Decision Making‘. Watch Here

I am a proven provider of Leadership Development and leadership speaker, with access to a network of expert associates (The HiveMind Network) who can achieve authentic, practical and effective leadership, management and coaching programmes at all levels in all three sectors, representing exceptional returns on investment in Your people.  

“It is clear that the UK is falling behind many of our key competitor nations in terms of leadership and management capability, which is undermining our productivity compared to those competitors. This is having a direct and detrimental impact on UK business profits, sales, growth and survival…. Quite simply, improving leadership and management capability is an issue that no organisation wishing to achieve long-term success can afford to ignore.” (Department for Business Innovation and Skills Report, (2012), Leadership and Management in the UK – The Key to Sustainable Growth).

At a time when many managers and organisations are under relentless economic pressure, there is a genuine need for open discussion with employees about values, plus a strong requirement for a robust set of values that help inform decisions and behaviours at all levels. (Institute of Leadership and Management Research Report (2013) Added Values. The Importance of Ethical Leadership).

If you are interested in learning more about values based leadership then read on. If you are too busy to explore your own leadership then this site is definitely for you. If you are already a good leader then share your experience.

We hear about leadership every day and see it referred to when ever we look at the papers, but what is it? What do good leaders do? How do they make a difference, and how can leadership enhance the performance of you and those around you?

Leadership is not about authority or hierarchy. It is not the preserve of the great and good, it should be available to all, and when it is, when ownership is distributed, high performance becomes the norm. What’s the difference between ‘The Leadership’, ‘Leaders’ and ‘Leading’?

Rather than leave your leadership development to chance, working with me will allow you to explore and refine, in your unique context, the specific behaviours that underpin your leadership influence.

Bottom line is that the leadership development you get here will lead to a happier and more productive life at work and home.

UK Call 07713740578 to discuss your leadership development needs.

Return on Investment

Investing in leadership development is investing in yourself and your people. Great leadership is about motivation and motivation is at the source of commitment and well-being. Leadership is the force multiplier that adds value to everything you do. Enhanced, ethical and authentic leadership focusses on what’s really important and facilitates the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (Profit, People and Planet). Working with you I seek to help you perform beyond expectations and as such maximise you return on investment.

Can you really afford not to invest in developing yourself and your people?

By investing in my support you will maximise the potential of your most important assets; your people, who will maitain your organisation’s edge.

See some of the recommendations from my Linkedin profile:
“Tim sets a clear strategic path recognising the strengths of those around and looking to their development to maximise team contributuion to goals. He is hard working. He maintains a good focus. A great people-person. I enjoy his company and exchanging ideas.”

“Tim Cain is without doubt one of the most passionate advocates of positive leadership that I know. I have observed and admired his personal leadership style and I respect his extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject and its application within an organisational and operational environment. Tim walks the talk and his personal integrity shines through in all that he does.”

“Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity; Tim’s direct and open style is not for the faint hearted, our top team were treated to a professionally deliverered and entertaining leadership day peppered with Tim’s unique experiences as an inspirational leader, modest and amusing he brought out the best my senior management team especially myself. We are now a united and co-hesive unit with crystal clear values and focus”


My leadership programmes include:

Learning to Lead. A programme of 1 or 2 day intervention workshops designed to develop the leadership skills of your management team so that they can create high performance cultures and maximise effectiveness.

360 Degree Leadership MOT. A strategic self-evaluation of your organisation’s leadership, facilitating a focussed and positive internal dialogue within your organisation aimed at tuning up your organisational leadership strengths and opportunities.

Communicating the Vision. CEOs need to be able to effectively communicate their vision and intent across their organisations so that their teams can take ownership of the organisational goals and can act in a coherant and focussed way. Communicating the Vision is for CEOs who are serious about empowering leadership.

The Leader’s Challenge. Enhance your personal leadership style through one on one leadership mentoring sessions, built into your working routine to help you learn through practical experience in the most realistic setting – your job.

Peer Group Leadership Learning. Join your leadership peers to explore the challenges of leadership and learn from the diverse experience of others, whilst at the same time sharing your experience.

Interdependant Teamworking. Develop the distributed leadership potential of your high performance team and gain a better understanding of how values based leadership mediates group performance.


My approach is based on over 30 years of practical leadership experience underpinned by Social and Behavioural Science and will be tailored to meet your individual leadership needs and that of the people in your organisation, ranging from One on One leadership conversations to bespoke team interventions. This recognises the diverse requirements at the different levels of leadership and the power of the interdependant and interactive transforming leadership behaviours. Although each contract will be designed specifically to meet your situation some of my generic methods are described below.

Individual One on One dialogue. An opportunity to explore your own understanding of your personal style of leadership and maximise it’s effect in enhancing performance. As a qualified Coach through the Institute of Leadership and Management I will work with you in a way that compliments your business process and minimises disruption. Effective applications of this approach include email dialogue and telephone conversations/text, as well as face to face collaboration.

Group interventions and teambuilding. We are seldom as effective alone as we are working together. The group intervention process harnesses the collective power of people in groups. Work groups, peer groups and high performing teams can all benefit from their collective consideration of their shared goals. Using proven techniques from elite performance environments and working together, we can facilitate common purpose, innovation, well-being and enhanced performance.

Workplace interventions. Realising that todays workplace is characterised by short deadlines and high tempo processes, One on One dialogue and Group interventions are crafted to fit into your main effort and compliment your organisations goals. Working either on site within your workplace or at a conference centre, interventions seek to provide a real return on investment in your people’s development.

Away day and half day thinking space. As a leader you need time away from the daily commitments to be creative and refresh that all important vision, which keeps you ahead of your competition. Awaydays and half days will get you ‘outdoors’ where I will help you think about that inspirational motivation.

Core Principles

The Core Principles of Tim Cain Leadership are focussed on your achieving Individual and Group full potential through Leadership.

‘Enhancing Performance through Leadership’

You own the process and pace

Leadership is a shared process based upon your individual and organisational Values

Leadership must be Ethical to be Authentic and Enduring

Leadership demands high standards

Leadership demands responsibility and accountability

Leadership accepts that there are always consequences

Leadership demands moral courage

Leadership thrives on mental toughness

Leadership is agile and adaptive

Leadership is You